Google launches website to help users avoid covid-19 online security scams1 min read . Updated: 29 Apr 2020, 12:34 PM IST
- The website is currently available in Hindi and English, and the content will soon be rolled out in other regional languages
- During the past couple of weeks, Google’s advanced machine-learning classifiers have globally seen 18 million daily malware and phishing attempts related to covid-19
Google rolled out a new website on Wednesday, focused on covid-19 related security risks.
With the rise in online scams related to covid‑19, the site aims to inform users about online risks and scams such as phishing emails posing as messages from charities and NGOs battling covid-19, directions from administrators to employees working from home, and even notices spoofing healthcare providers.
The website is currently available in Hindi and English, and the content will soon be rolled out in other regional languages.
The site will also warn users to double check links and email addresses before clicking. Fake links often imitate established websites by adding extra words or letters to them—users can check the URL’s validity by hovering over it (on desktop) or with a long press (on mobile), taking care not to click any suspicious links, according to the website.
Besides, Google systems have also spotted malware-laden sites that pose as sign-in pages for popular social media accounts, health organizations, and even official coronavirus maps.
During the past couple of weeks, Google’s advanced machine-learning classifiers have globally seen 18 million daily malware and phishing attempts related to covid-19, in addition to more than 240 million covid-related spam messages.
Google said that it has built advanced security protections into Google products to automatically identify and stop threats before they ever reach users. Google machine learning models in Gmail already detect and block more than 99.9 percent of spam, phishing, and malware. Besides, the security built into the Chrome browser also protects users by alerting them in case of fraudulent websites. Moreover, Google Play Protect scans millions of apps in Google Play to safeguard users against any such risks.
Other social media platforms too have stepped up efforts to fight fake news on covid-19. According to a Facebook spokesperson, the platform took down 40 million posts related to covid-19 globally, in March this year. These were based on 4000 articles by Facebook’s independent fact-checking partners, which includes NewsMobile. Facebook puts warning labels on posts that have been busted by fact checkers. Similarly, Twitter removed 2230 harmful tweets between March 18 and April 23.